According to a report by online gambling publication Gambling Compliance, a deal that would regulate online poker could be set to be pushed through the United States Congress as early as the end of 2012. However, industry and government officials have stressed that nothing is certain, while remaining cautiously optimistic about the possibility of the bill’s passage.According to the story, negotiations for such a bill have been ongoing between Senate leaders of the two major parties in the United States: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (a Democrat from Nevada) and Senate Assistant Minority Leader Jon Kyl (a Republican from Arizona). Those negotiations have laid the framework for a bill, one that comes with an agreement to work together to try to pass the legislation.However, that effort won’t be coming immediately. Rather than attempt to pass the bill in the middle of election season – national elections, including the Presidential election, will be taking place across the United States in November – the effort would take place in the so called “lame duck” session. This term refers to the period between the elections and the date when newly elected officials would take office in the following January. This period is often used to pass legislation that has enough support to pass, but which some legislators are afraid to vote for due to fears that their support could be used against them in campaigning.Any online poker bill could certainly fit that description, which explains the wait to attempt to pass such a bill. According to Senator Reid, both he and Senator Kyl support the bill, but more support is needed before it could be assured of passage.“Senator Kyl and I’ve worked very hard,” Reid told the National Journal. “What we need to do is get some Republican support. That hasn’t been forthcoming yet.”Republican support might be harder to come by for a variety of reasons. For instance, Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson is a major donor to Republican candidates, and is strongly opposed to federal level online gambling regulation. In addition, some Republican-leaning religious groups are strongly opposed to gambling, complicating matters for Republican legislators who wish to keep their support.
Lame Duck Deal Could Bring Online Poker to USA July 19, 2012